debt collection agency

Healthcare Debt Collection

In most mid-size or larger healthcare organizations, chances are you can only run a single-tier strategy for your receivables. The past due accounts with one or more healthcare debt collection will attempt to recover a portion of the inventory, and that’s where collection efforts end. Most debt recovery services manage their debt this way. However, when you can add another layer to your collection process with a late-stage recovery strategy, you can help find revenue that may have been abandoned by the initial agency. But, again, it’s all about how the agency plans to manage the collection strategy.

Issues with older inventories

Nine out of ten healthcare debt collection agencies have a plan. The medical billing process may run up to 180 days. After this initial period, an agency will reduce its work effort as there’s less chance of recovery. However, your inventory is just 87% of its original value after 90 days of delinquency. Moreover, at 120 days, the inventory’s worth drops to 33% of its initial value. This data stresses the significance of sending the accounts to debt recovery services as soon as possible. It also determines why many agencies either stop or scale back their work on older accounts.

The collection agency may maintain those accounts in their inventory; sometimes, they may sit dormant and unworked for several years after the initial few months of collection efforts.

Reactivate late-stage accounts

If the older inventories have been worked to exhaustion, you may need to run a new strategy to reactivate them and find revenue that may have been missed. The past-due patients have received the same collection communications for months by that time. They have grown accustomed to seeing the current collection agency’s logo or letterhead—the same phone numbers, same texts, duplicate emails, etc. However, going with a secondary collection strategy that applies a new approach can find valuable revenue from the delinquent accounts.

The updated strategy

At Vital Solutions, we run a debt revival process that looks at previous strategies. When placing a late-strategy inventory, our medical coding and billing team will look at what kind of collection efforts needs to be attempted. Moreover, the agents here will also look at demographics, including balance size, credit history, the age of the account, and any other supplied history.

Using the data, the debt recovery services run unique analytical modeling and determine the best course of action. The agency also operates a segmentation process to ensure exemplary efforts are made on the correct accounts. Also, this maximizes the results on older debts that would otherwise go uncollected.

There’s also a comprehensive need to perform data scrubs on accounts. Our agency is looking for new addresses and phone numbers. Also, we look for bankruptcies and other disqualifying information.

When the inventory gets scrubbed and segmented, the team will perform a targeted call and letter plan on the higher probability accounts.

Credit reporting

Credit reporting can be a handy tool for late-stage accounts. Patients trying to acquire a new line of credit will inevitably learn from this and will attempt to resolve the account. With the credit monitoring program, you have the option to monitor for positive changes in the responsible party’s credit file. Some of the key areas include,

  • Employment updates
  • Mortgage inquiries
  • New tradelines opened
  • Old tradelines paid

The ultimate focus is on a positive change in the patient’s credit activity, indicating that they may be able to pay. Our agents will respond to ensure the account is at the top of the patient’s list to resolve things.

The system functionality

Our latest-stage recovery plan is to augment their existing strategy and find revenue. We have recovered a considerable number of delinquent accounts by using this plan.

Data security

When you plan to evaluate a potential collection partner, you need to thoroughly relate the performance or experience, not data security and compliance. But with cyber security and operational compliance remaining vital, you must choose professional healthcare debt collection services.

Ensuring the consumer’s data gets protected and the consumer is treated fairly according to regulatory mandates reduces the risks when engaging with an accounts receivable management firm. Here are essential characteristics when choosing the next healthcare debt collection agency.

Security certifications and audits

Security breaches continue to saturate the headlines. Collection agencies are increasing the cybersecurity level to protect their clients. You need to make sure potential partners have the latest security certifications.

The agency must ensure a list of certifications to look for, including PCI DSS 3.2.1 or SOC 3 report. But one thing you can search for in the alphabet soup is whether the potential partner self-assesses or uses a third-party auditor.

Just because a company passes an audit or receives a certification doesn’t mean something won’t change in a month. The agency should be using a combination of internal audits and third-party auditors to verify their security measures regularly. You must confirm that the collection partner performs audits on a schedule. If they don’t, they could be putting the data at risk.

Compliance and protocols

The collection industry is in a transition period. The collection partner must stick to regulatory compliance. You may always ask for a partner’s Compliance Risk Management System. This creates the necessary checks and balances to protect you, the consumers, and the agency from risk.

Your healthcare debt collection should be compliant with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), states restricting collection efforts, and other laws. Each of these gets designed to protect consumers from harassment and ensure fair treatment.

Collection partner must include,

  • Train and reinforce regulatory laws as part of its organizational objectives
  • Schedule regular tests on applicable laws
  • Regulatory conduct internal and third-party audits of all processes
  • Verify vendor due diligence
  • Address and track all consumer complaints

You must ensure the partner follows the best practices to minimize risk to you while ensuring that consumers are treated fairly and per the law.

Core value

The best way to verify a medical billing service provider is by looking at their culture and core values. You must ensure that these values show concern for compliance and data security. Also, what matters is how those values translate into their treatment of consumers.

A professional firm will strive to earn top security and compliance standards and certifications. It’s the right thing to do in the industry. However, it would be best if you kept in mind that people still remain the foremost priority. It is through the lens of the consumer that a professional firm makes a decision.

Excellent data security and compliance come from a genuine concern when it comes to protecting the business and the consumers.

Final Wrap

We run a more digital-friendly approach to collections in order to improve your recovery rates. With access to the patient portal, both the consumers and the patients can see their bills in real-time. You can make payments through different modes of strategies. At Vital Solutions, we’re proud to provide a recovery rate two or three times higher than the national average. Our team of agents will help you take the revenue cycle management process to the next level. The team also offers a wide range of services, from collecting unpaid debt to following up on insurance denials and appeals. Stop letting uncollected revenue fall through the cracks. You can start working with a professional firm with a proven track record of success.

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